Media Release

27 June 2018

Davis: Just when you think the Transport Minister couldn’t be more hopeless, they become more hopeless

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Just when you think the Transport Minister couldn’t be more hopeless, they become more hopeless

Daniel Andrews and his failed Public Transport Minister, Jacinta Allan, have today effectively sounded the death knell for V/Line.

The appointment of Jeroen Weimar, CEO of Public Transport Victoria (PTV) to the role of V/Line Board Chairman from 1 July, and this is effectively a take-over of country rail services by a Melbourne focussed rail executive.

Daniel Andrews’ city-centric government has crushed country rail performance since coming to government on almost every measure. The performance on country rail has collapsed since November 2014.

  • Punctuality has reached the lowest level in over five years and one of the lowest levels on record across the V/Line network.
  • Punctuality is far below that achieved in 2014 (79.3% vs 90.8% Nov 2014).
  • Nearly 10 times as many services were cancelled in May (335) across the V/Line system than in Nov 2014 (36).
  • The 92% target for punctuality has never been achieved over the last 4 years under Labor.

The May performance of V/Line is shocking but the solution is not a take-over of country rail by Daniel Andrews’ city-rail expert. The terrible fact is that city-rail performance has also declined.

Jerome Weimar’s performance in conjunction with Minister Allan’s has seen:

  • Punctuality well below 2014 – 90% in May 2018 vs 94.3% in November 2014.
  • Punctuality fell to second lowest level in the last four years in May 2018.
  • Punctuality continues to trend down since 2014.
  • Punctuality is below the 92% target on 12 of the 16 metro lines.
  • Labor is running over 3,000 less services on time in May 2018 across the Metro system than the previous Coalition Government did in November 2014.

Daniel Andrews is a city centric Premier, Premier for Melbourne alone.

It is bizarre that he thinks that the take-over of country rail – V/Line – by someone more accustomed to running electric trains and trams in Melbourne is a good idea.

Make no mistake, Daniel Andrews and his Public Transport Minister, Jacinta Allan, are beginning the process of destroying V/Line, Victoria’s country rail operator.

Not content with smashing its performance, they are now putting an in an urban Board Chair with clear riding instructions to make V/Line fit the Metro mould.

How will Mr Weimar deal with this clear conflict of interest when the priority of Metro trains conflict with country rail – V/line – services? Whose side will he take?

The fear is that Metro services will repeatedly override country trains.